Why is Glutathione Important and How does it Help the Body?
Glutathione is an important antioxidant as it prevents damage to cells and contributes to various other vital functions in the body. The state of glutathione production in your body directly affects your nervous system, immune system, gastrointestinal system and lungs. Without it, there could be no life. All the hard work you do by eating a healthy diet and exercising is of no use if the levels of glutathione in your body are low. Scientifically, it is a molecule made of three amino acids: glycine, cysteine and glutamine.
Your body continuously produces glutathione to properly function and efficiently utilize the nutritious food you eat. Unfortunately, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, poor diet, trauma and ageing all deplete the glutathione in your body. It is also important to know that glutathione can't be taken as a pill and absorbed by the body; you need to give your body what it needs to make it.
Health Benefits of Glutathione
Glutathione plays an important role in the development and maintenance of each cell. It reduces oxidative stress and is essential for most basic functions, some of which are:
- Protecting the mitochondria and ensuring the production of energy of each cell
- Maintaining the health of each cell thereby slowing down the ageing process
- Reducing the recovery time of muscles after exercise thereby rebuilding muscles faster
- Preventing cell damage by fighting against free radicals
- Supporting the immune system
- Fighting against minor and chronic diseases
- Reducing intracellular inflammation, inflammation is thought to be a leading cause of many chronic diseases
Oxidation is a natural process that continuously takes place in all cells in nature, including the cells in your body. A cut apple turning brown and fish turning rancid are examples of what happens when oxidation takes place.
The body is equipped to handle oxidation; however, one to two percent of cells become damaged in the process, and they lose a critical molecule. These damaged cells are known as free radicals. Free radicals go around the body and attack healthy cells to get the molecule they are missing. In the process, free radicals change the DNA of healthy cells. Too many damaged cells in the body give an environment for chronic diseases such as cancer to develop.
It is commonly known that antioxidants such as vitamin C and E help fight against free radicals. Regular intake of these antioxidants can promote healthy cells by reducing the amount of free radicals in your body. However, scientists have revealed the essential part glutathione plays in ensuring antioxidants efficiently control free radicals.
Recent research has shown that glutathione is the leading antioxidant, detoxifier and the key to a healthy immune system. Other antioxidants depend on glutathione to be able to do their work. This is because they become unstable themselves after they have neutralized free radicals. Glutathione works to get the maximum benefit from the other antioxidants and restore their balance, which allows them to get back to work.
Glutathione and the Detoxification Process
Glutathione has an important part in maintaining the health of every organ in the body, but it is significantly vital for the liver to function properly. Your liver has some of the most important jobs in your body as it:
- Gets rid of toxins and produces bio-chemicals required for protein synthesis and digestion
- Stores glycogen, which is a form of glucose and the primary source of energy for the body
- Assists in the production of hormones
- Has a part in the metabolism and the decomposition of red blood cells
Too much alcohol and some medications put a large load of toxic waste on the liver. Glutathione is what makes it possible for the liver to get rids of these toxins.
Other parts of the body that require glutathione to function properly include:
Eyes - The lenses of the eye contain glutathione to protect against UV radiation, and it is essential to fight against the oxidative stress that takes place in the lenses of the eye.
Lungs - There is a high concentration of glutathione in the lungs. This is because the lungs are continuously working to detoxify the air we breathe and glutathione is a vital part of the detoxification process.
Ears - Oxidative stress can cause damage in the inner ear and lead to age-related hearing loss. Glutathione fights against the free radicals and delays the onset of hearing loss.
Glutathione is produced in your body, but the natural production of glutathione begins to decline after the age of 20. The decline in glutathione makes the body age faster and increases the risks of diseases. This is why maintaining an optimum level of glutathione throughout your life can postpone the ageing process and reduce the possibility of getting a chronic illness as you get older.
A deficiency in glutathione leads to:
- Reduced ability to detoxify blood, which means the accumulation of heavy metals and toxins
- Cell mutations and damaged cell membranes
- Reduced supply of nutrients and oxygen reaching your cells
- Inability to repair cell DNA and eventual death of the cell
The deterioration of cells affects the immune system and becomes one of the key reasons for the onset, progression and severity of an illness. An absence of glutathione is also responsible for the lack of a response to treatments. Research has shown that low glutathione levels contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Autoimmune disorders
- Diseases of the liver, kidney, heart and digestive system
Early Symptoms of Glutathione Deficiency
Glutathione deficiency progresses in three stages. The symptoms become more severe as the deficiency increases. Common symptoms of the first stage include:
- Lack of energy
- Joint pain
- Brain fog
- Dry skin
- Sleep disorders
- Joint pain
- Frequent colds
How You Can Increase the Level of Glutathione In Your Body
Glutathione is not like other enzymes, chemicals and nutrients that can be taken as a pill and absorbed by the body because the amino acids that make up glutathione can't survive in the acidic environment in the digestive system. Through extensive research, scientists have discovered that the best way to increase your glutathione level is to give the body what it needs to produce it. You need to supply your body with the building blocks of glutathione.
Glutamate, glycine and cysteine are the three main building blocks of glutathione. Glutamate and glycine are readily available in most healthy diets; however, cysteine is the most important one, and it is also the most difficult to get through your diet as the foods containing cysteine need to eaten unprocessed and raw to get the full benefit. Primarily, cysteine is found in sulfur-rich foods, such as:
Cruciferous Vegetables - Cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards and watercress.
Dairy and Poultry - Unpasteurized dairy products and eggs.
Meat and Fish - Fresh, unprocessed meat and fish.
Soy Products - Although not the highest source, soy protein is a good source of cysteine.
Spices and Herbs - Cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and milk thistle.
Nutritional Supplements can provide the right combination of amino acids to assist in the production of glutathione.
Consuming all the right foods in the right way can be a challenge for some people. That is why doctors often recommend supplements that contain RiboCeine. RiboCeine is a combination of cysteine and ribose, and it is a breakthrough formula. Ribose provides the protection needed so your body can absorb the cysteine and encourage each cell to produce glutathione naturally. It is an effortless and sure way to maintain high levels of glutathione.